Bessy the Rock Rod - A Crawler Built in Stages

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Kyle_Craig

Kyle_Craig

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Jun 1, 2021
Messages
51
Location
Minnesota
I made some progress this afternoon.

I cut up my old fenders to create new fender panels, modifying them with a flange along the front edge to attach the inner fenders to and I also cut the hood!

I took a little too much material out of the inner fender toward the top so I may want to add a small filler piece at some point. Other than that I'm really happy with the progress made today.

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Kyle_Craig

Kyle_Craig

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Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
51
Location
Minnesota
With so many unfinished projects it was time to start another! I started working on my rockers/body mounts/boat sides/(mini boat sides?).

I picked up some 3/16" x 3" plate and some 1.75" x 3/16" DOM (that stuff ain't cheap!)

This Jeep had some rust. So I cut it all out!

I drilled holes and bolted the plate to the body to mark my cut line.
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Then I got to cutting.
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I counter sunk all the holes in the plate.
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Starting to get a feel for how it will all look and line up.
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There was not much left of the middle body mount. I left the frontmost body mount in place on each side to locate the body fore/aft and side to side.
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I cut out the entire channel from back to front that runs under the tub and locates the body mounts. It was rusty and in the way. I took it out in a few chunks.
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I decided to have a little fun with the name of the Jeep on the computer and then the plasma table.
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My buddy tacked the tube in place at the bottom of the rocker plate. It will get longer stitch welds but we ran out of gas.
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I will run 5 or 6 tubes perpendicular to the rocker tubing at a slight angle down to the frame and that will be a two-in-one rocker protection and body mount. The body will bolt to the plate and still be removable. I'd also like to locate the perpendicular tubes in a way that I can tie A and B pillars off of for a legit roll cage in the future.

I may or may not skin the underside with steel and or UHMW plastic. I am on the fence. I think aesthetically that would look best but I'm also trying to be conscious of cost and weight. It may come later.
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I am planning on capping the end of the tube front and back for a clean look.
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More to come! Stay tuned.
 
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NashvilleTJ

I miss the snow...
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With so many unfinished projects it was time to start another! I started working on my rockers/body mounts/boat sides/(mini boat sides?).

I picked up some 3/16" x 3" plate and some 1.75" x 3/16" DOM (that stuff ain't cheap!)

This Jeep had some rust. So I cut it all out!

I drilled holes and bolted the plate to the body to mark my cut line.
View attachment 414309

Then I got to cutting.
View attachment 414310

View attachment 414311

I counter sunk all the holes in the plate.
View attachment 414312


View attachment 414313

Starting to get a feel for how it will all look and line up.
View attachment 414314

There was not much left of the middle body mount. I left the frontmost body mount in place on each side to locate the body fore/aft and side to side.
View attachment 414315


I cut out the entire channel from back to front that runs under the tub and locates the body mounts. It was rusty and in the way. I took it out in a few chunks.
View attachment 414316

I decided to have a little fun with the name of the Jeep on the computer and then the plasma table.
View attachment 414321

My buddy tacked the tube in place at the bottom of the rocker plate. It will get longer stitch welds but we ran out of gas.
View attachment 414322


I will run 5 tubes perpendicular to the rocker tubing at a slight angle down to the frame and that will be a two-in-one rocker protection and body mount. The body will bolt to the plate and still be removable. I'd also like to locate the perpendicular tubes in a way that I can tie A and B pillars off of for a legit roll cage in the future.

I may or may not skin the underside with steel and or UHMW plastic. I am on the fence. I think aesthetically that would look best but I'm also trying to be conscious of cost and weight. It may come later.
View attachment 414323

I am planning on capping the end of the tube front and back for a clean look.
View attachment 414325

More to come! Stay tuned.

Interesting and unique idea. Nice work.
 
OP
Kyle_Craig

Kyle_Craig

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
51
Location
Minnesota
Interesting and unique idea. Nice work.

Thank you! I'm doing my best to replicate a concept for rockers/body mounts that I originally saw on a Jeep called project Acrophobia from the old Pirate4x4 days. Not much is original these days and I like to give credit where credit is due.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/threads/project-acrophobia.495084/post-6869841
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I got the driver side to the same point as the passenger side tonight! I got the old body mounts cut off and the underbody body mount channel completely cut out and removed, then cut and tacked tube to the bottom of the driver side rocker.
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I'm hoping to find the time to start coping the tubes that will run from the rocker to the frame next week. It will be a huge milestone to get the body properly mounted to the frame again!
 
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Kyle_Craig

Kyle_Craig

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Jun 1, 2021
Messages
51
Location
Minnesota
I got the boatsides finished, body mounted, frame and inner fenders painted, designed and built a traction bar, and made a c pillar tie in that doubles as a rearmost body mount and upper shock mount.

Today I dropped off the corner armor and tailgate for paint and mocked up my newly lengthened driveshaft that I just got back from Adam's. Unfortunately, the driveshaft is still too short and the 6" slip won't be long enough. I measured for the driveshaft at ride height before I could droop it out on the lift. With the front spring eye sliders, the wheelbase lengthens a lot as these springs droop.

I was going to push to have this thing ready to wheel next weekend but I'll probably be waiting on a driveshaft with a longer slip.

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Rear body mounts
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Kyle_Craig

Kyle_Craig

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Jun 1, 2021
Messages
51
Location
Minnesota
Brakes ✅
Fuel ✅
Shocks ✅
Traction bar ✅
Exhaust ✅
Hood pins ✅

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I didn't anticipate how little room I would have with the leaf springs and slider boxes mounted along the inside of the frame rails. Fitting exhaust was a challenge and I had to use a smaller muffler than I would prefer (flowmaster flow fx) but it surprisingly isn't obnoxiously loud.
I'm just waiting on some body panels to be painted and an extra long slip and stub for my driveshaft to arrive and this thing will be driving again! I'll get some better pictures when I get the painted panels on.

It is sitting at about 5.5" up travel/6.5" down travel in the rear with virtually no suspension lift and 1" of body lift on these 39" tires.
 
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Kyle_Craig

Kyle_Craig

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Messages
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Location
Minnesota
I'm still waiting on panels to be painted to wrap things up but today I rolled her outside and took a few photos. I can't wait to wheel this thing. Everything is tucked up high and tight. No brackets hanging past the frame rail on this thing!

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I'm really stoked on the slight hood rake. It's very subtle but gives it a neat look IMO.
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I installed some daystar hood pins to keep the hood down and added some braided stainless tethers. My steering box skid will need some love---it's barely hanging on.
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The departure angle will be a lot better than before with the frame rails significantly higher and no shackles hanging down. The Jeep is sitting just a hair high in the rear. We'll see how it looks with corner armor bolted on and more fuel in the tank.
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I realized I never shared a photo of my traction bar. It has a extreme boomerang shackle and swings off of a dom crossmember. I still need to fab a patch for the hole in the floor. The traction bar tucks up into the rear footwell during full compression.
Here you can also see how the leaf sliders work. The front spring eyes slide on UHMW pucks.
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OP
Kyle_Craig

Kyle_Craig

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Today was a mad dash to get the Jeep wrapped up. I got the safari top installed, painted and installed the front inner fenders, pressed and welded in a longer slip spline and stub on the rear driveshaft, topped off fluids, fixed my steering box skid, attached under hood accessories, and made adapter brackets to fit in the Corbeau low back seats. I kept thinking of things, adding them to the punch list and crossing them off from morning to midnight. I should have taken pictures of the process.

I'm beat but Bessy is loaded on the trailer for her shake down voyage in the morning.

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the freaking approach and departure angle! awesome
Thank you! I'm so excited to drive it this weekend!
 
OP
Kyle_Craig

Kyle_Craig

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
51
Location
Minnesota
UPDATE: This Jeep likes to party!!

We wheeled Dresser WI on Saturday but didn't take any pictures. We wheeled Frontenac Farms in Lake City MN on Sunday and took a lot of pictures.

The leaf sliders are really stable on side hills. Having nothing hanging past the frame rails is awesome for ground clearance. The bald sticky tires do indeed stick to rocks. The new seats hold you in and make for a super comfortable ride.

I had a super fun weekend. I had the most fun wheeling since back when I lived out west.

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This last picture was the obstacle that instigated the last 6 months of Jeep projects. What you don't see is the 4' tall undercut rock under my driver front tire. Last fall I tried bumping it hard several times in an attempt to make it up, slamming my driver side leaf hanger into the undercut left tire rock which cracked/bent the frame and tipped the jeep into the rock on the right which caved in my rear tub side. Yesterday I CRAWLED the same obstacle!!

The next small projects will likely be a quick release steering wheel (it's very tight getting in and out with the tall side bolsters of the new seats) and probably a hydraulic cutting brake setup (the mechanical parking brake dig brake just don't work that well.

The next large project will definitely be building a legit roll cage (with door bar(s) and harness bars and frame tie ins at A, B, and C pillars. The frame tie ins I have already set in place in .188 wall 1.75" DOM with my combination boat side/body mount design and my shock mounts.

When I build a cage, I am also considering eliminating the factory dash and putting the windshield on quick release pins for visibility when crawling. The cage project might be a little ways out though...I need to balance family time/Jeep projects.

Attached below are some inspiration pictures for reference of the high visibility dash/cage concept I'd like to emulate.

Screen Shot 2022-10-13 at 11.23.08 PM.png


Screen Shot 2022-03-03 at 4.26.04 PM.png
 

Apparition

Moab June Fest 11-16th 2023
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UPDATE: This Jeep likes to party!!

We wheeled Dresser WI on Saturday but didn't take any pictures. We wheeled Frontenac Farms in Lake City MN on Sunday and took a lot of pictures.

The leaf sliders are really stable on side hills. Having nothing hanging past the frame rails is awesome for ground clearance. The bald sticky tires do indeed stick to rocks. The new seats hold you in and make for a super comfortable ride.

I had a super fun weekend. I had the most fun wheeling since back when I lived out west.

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This last picture was the obstacle that instigated the last 6 months of Jeep projects. What you don't see is the 4' tall undercut rock under my driver front tire. Last fall I tried bumping it hard several times in an attempt to make it up, slamming my driver side leaf hanger into the undercut left tire rock which cracked/bent the frame and tipped the jeep into the rock on the right which caved in my rear tub side. Yesterday I CRAWLED the same obstacle!!

The next small projects will likely be a quick release steering wheel (it's very tight getting in and out with the tall side bolsters of the new seats) and probably a hydraulic cutting brake setup (the mechanical parking brake dig brake just don't work that well.

The next large project will definitely be building a legit roll cage (with door bar(s) and harness bars and frame tie ins at A, B, and C pillars. The frame tie ins I have already set in place in .188 wall 1.75" DOM with my combination boat side/body mount design and my shock mounts.

When I build a cage, I am also considering eliminating the factory dash and putting the windshield on quick release pins for visibility when crawling. The cage project might be a little ways out though...I need to balance family time/Jeep projects.

Attached below are some inspiration pictures for reference of the high visibility dash/cage concept I'd like to emulate.

View attachment 428632

View attachment 428633

Where were you wheeling?